DISCLAIMER: This recap of the Loki penultimate episode “Journey Into Mystery” is rife with spoilers. You’ve been warned. Proceed at your own peril.
Welcome back, variants! We’ve reached penultimate episode territory with “Journey Into Mystery.” Remember when I declared that last week’s Loki outing was the best thus far? Strike that — this week’s episode is the best thus far. I loved exploring The Void and learning all about Loki’s new variant friends. All of those Marvel Easter eggs! Alioth! Classic Loki’s glorious sacrifice! Sylvie and Loki’s burgeoning romance!
So, let’s stop dillydallying and get to recapping “Journey Into Mystery”!
Now, we open with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) landing in The Void. He meets Classic Loki (Richard E. Grant), Kid Loki (Jack Veal), Boastful Loki (DeObia Oparei) and Alligator Loki (the best Loki). A formidable smoke monster rises up and prepares to pounce. Classic Loki reveals that this is Alioth. The quintet proceeds to flee.
Meanwhile, Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) interrogates Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw). She wants to know where Loki went. Renslayer explains that Loki isn’t dead. When the TVA “prunes” a timeline, it doesn’t stop existing. It’s merely moved to a place wherein it can stop evolving. Enter: The Void. The Void is at the end of time.
According to TVA dogma, the end of time is still being written. The Time Keepers will create a “utopia” of sorts. You know, those Chuck E. Cheese-looking animatronic dudes. Renslayer discloses that nothing ever returns from The Void. However, she can aid Sylvie if the latter trusts her.
Next, we see Loki trailing behind his variant selves. He’s chock full of a thousand questions. In The Void, we can see ship wreckages and derelict buildings. It’s a treasure trove of forgotten stuff. CL informs our titular god of mischief that Alioth was installed by the TVA to stand guard over The Void. Nothing and no one gets past him.
In addition, we learn that KL’s Nexus Event was killing Thor. That’s comforting. As the quintet retreats below ground, we see a dilapidated yellow helicopter marked “Thanos.” There’s also a Mjolnir that’s lodged in the earth. Oh, and a teeny tiny Frog Thor trapped in a glass jar. “Throg,” if you will. These intricate details are what make Marvel the best.
Now, Loki sees that his variant buddies reside in what appears to be a bowling alley. KL is in charge, so he perches atop a throne. Then, back at the TVA, Renslayer summons Miss Minutes (voiced by Tara Strong). She asks her to dig up some files regarding the creation of the TVA and the end of time. Sylvie brainstorms different ways to save Loki. Miss Minutes makes a suggestion.
Apparently, she can procure files regarding “The Void spacecraft.” The TVA utilizes it to travel through the temporal void. However, Miss Minutes takes her time finding the said files. Too much time. She’s clearly stalling. Sylvie swipes Renslayer’s TemPad prior to ducking behind the judge’s seat. Renslayer’s lackeys burst into the room. Betrayal!
Next, Renslayer attempts to negotiate with Sylvie. She’ll place Sylvie in a time loop so the latter can relive a good memory in perpetuity. Sylvie only has one good memory (I wonder what that could be?). She “prunes” herself and vanishes.
Meanwhile, BL boasts that he vanquished Captain America and Iron Man while he sips on Roxxcart wine. Alligator Loki calls his bluff. We learn that CL managed to escape his seemingly inevitable demise at the hands of Thanos. How? By creating an immensely accurate projection of himself. He fled to a planet and lived out his years in solitude. The moment he attempted to leave this planet, the TVA captured him and threw him into The Void.
Then, Loki mentions Sylvie. Apparently, none of the other variant Lokis have met a female version of themselves before. In addition, our fave Asgardian reveals that she plans to destroy the TVA. What if they decimate Alioth and get the Hel out of dodge? The variants burst into raucous laughter. No one leaves here!
So, Loki tries to depart the bowling alley sewer. However, he’s greeted by President Loki (Hiddleston) and a slew of other Loki variants. They’re all-encompassing! Omnipresent! PL and his crew enter the bowling alley. Meanwhile, Sylvie lands in The Void. She flees from Alioth over a handful of buses.
Suddenly, a Skinny’s Pizza car zooms into view. It picks her up. We see that Mobius (Owen Wilson) is the driver. Yay! He survived! She urges Mobius to go back to the smoke monster because she believes that may be their only way out of The Void.
Next, we learn that BL has betrayed Classic, Kid and Alligator Lokis. PL is also betrayed by his crew. There are loads of betraying and backstabbing, but that’s par for the course when you trust a Loki. Now, the bowling alley erupts into an all-out brawl. CL creates projections of himself, our Loki, Alligator Loki and Kid Loki so they can all escape. Boastful Loki’s on his own.
Then, Loki reveals that he’s serious about trying to circumvent Alioth, but CL knows that this is a “death sentence.” Alioth dines on a lone sailor ship, the USS Eldridge. If you know anything about the “Philadelphia Experiment,” you know that the said ship was purported to be “rendered invisible” to enemy devices.
Well, this show is toying with that urban legend by claiming it was simply sent to The Void. Brilliant.
Finally, Loki reunites with Sylvie and Mobius. Reunited and it feels so good! Back at the TVA, Renslayer pays Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) a visit. Poor B-15 is being held captive. Renslayer tries to question B-15’s motives. After all, she forged a connection with Sylvie. B-15 reveals that Sylvie will achieve her objective because she “needs it,” not because she “wants it” as Renslayer does.
While Mobius, CL, KL and AL are bonding over a roaring fire, Loki and Sylvie are sitting outside. Loki makes a blanket materialize. He covers them both with it. So much sexual tension! Chemistry out the wazoo! Sylvie confesses that she’s never had a friend before.
They both ponder over what they’ll do when all of this is over. Loki suggests that they cross that bridge together. Ugh. This is sickeningly sweet. Loki admits that he won’t betray her. He’s not that person anymore. We love a good character evolvement!
Later, we see that it’s go time. Sylvie will enchant Alioth. Upon her arrival, she briefly made contact with the smoke monster and saw something there. She believes that Alioth is merely a guard dog to the real threat. So, she’s going to enchant him. Sylvie hands Loki the TemPad so he can escape. But he refuses to budge. “You go, I go.” I might projectile vomit from just how cute this is.
Mobius takes the TemPad instead and creates a portal back to the TVA. CL, KL and AL also decide to stay in The Void. Mobius and Loki hug it out like the best buds they are before the former departs.
Then, Sylvie and Loki approach Alioth. Kid Loki gave our titular god of mischief a sword that emits flames, so he utilizes that to distract Alioth while Sylvie gets close enough to make contact. But it’s not working.
That’s when Classic Loki steps in to save the day.
He creates a massive projection of a cityscape for Alioth to devour. It almost resembles Asgard. Sylvie grabs Loki’s hand. She reveals that they’re going to enchant Alioth together, despite Loki’s lack of knowledge regarding enchantments.
Unfortunately, CL runs out of steam. He does what he can to stave off Alioth, but it’s not enough. Prior to getting consumed by the smoke monster, he emphatically proclaims, “Glorious purpose!” He certainly fulfilled his. After Alioth passes through, only CL’s helmet remains in his wake. RIP Classic Loki. You were a badass.
Suddenly, Sylvie’s enchanting (and channeling through Loki) pays off. We see Alioth is cast in emerald light. The clouds of his ginormous form part to reveal an opulent mansion. Could that be what Alioth was guarding all along? The reason for the TVA? The puppeteer pulling the strings? Loki and Sylvie walk toward the mansion at the end of time.
Overall, “Journey Into Mystery” really is just that — a journey into mystery. It’s a delightfully kooky romp riddled with Marvel Easter eggs, compelling performances and stunning visuals. This may surpass WandaVision as my favorite Disney Plus show. I am sad that Richard E. Grant’s stay was cut short, but at least his character had a memorable, badass exit.
I have approximately one thousand questions going into next week’s finale. Who will our leads find in that mansion at the end of time? While it does give off major Castle Doom vibes, do we think that Marvel will introduce Doctor Doom on this show? Will Mobius really burn the TVA to the ground when he gets back? What’s with Miss Minutes? She also has an ominous aura to me.
New episodes of Loki are available to stream on Wednesdays, only on Disney Plus.
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